Leon Edward KNIBBS, son of James J KNIBBS and Edith Florence TALADA , was born May 1890 in Quebec, Canada. He married Lorreta BAUER 21 April 1921 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA. He died 18 July 1976 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA. Lorreta BAUER was born 06 February 1902 in Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA. She died 24 November 1960 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA.

Children of Leon Edward KNIBBS and Lorreta BAUER are:
1. Robert Lee KNIBBS, b. 18 April 1924
2. Joan Fay KNIBBS, b. 24 May 1932 See Richard P KRYSIAK & Joan Fay KNIBBS
3. Ronald Andrew KNIBBS, b. 01 February 1935 See Ronald Andrew KNIBBS & Mary Ann PARTELL
4. Unknown Twin KNIBBS, b. Private
5. Unknown Twin KNIBBS, b. Private
6. Unknown KNIBBS, b. Private
7. Donna KNIBBS, b. Private See Robert H HEUSINGER & Donna KNIBBS

Marriage Notes for Leon Edward KNIBBS\Lorreta BAUER:

Marriage Certificate #6108

Other Marriages/Unions for Leon Edward KNIBBS:
See Leon Edward KNIBBS & Hazel Gertrude BILLS OR Leon Edward KNIBBS & Anna HAMPSON OR Leon Edward KNIBBS & UNKNOWN OR Leon Edward KNIBBS & Marion NULL OR Leon Edward KNIBBS & UNKNOWN OR Leon Edward KNIBBS & UNKNOWN OR Leon Edward KNIBBS & UNKNOWN

Notes for Leon Edward KNIBBS:

Also known as: Raymond Leon or Leon Raymond or Leo

Leon was known by three aliases. He travelled a lot from Buffalo to Fairport, Monroe County, New York, which is right outside Buffalo for work and is understood to have had relationships between the two towns.

I am told by his grand daughter Kim that he was married 8 times in total. and is known to have been married to Marion Null at the time of his death in 1976.

From the Elmira Star-Gazette, 25July, 1912:
Leon Knibbs is wanted by the United States for desertion from the army. When he enlisted he gave his birth place as Sayre, Pa. He is twenty-one years old, has blue eyes and red hair, and his trade was machinist helper. When he enlisted he was living at Elmira, N. Y. He deserted at Fort Mc-Kenzie, Wyo.


Leon enlisted in the National Guard in about July 1917 and is known to have served in the machine gun company of the 38th Infantry and served overseas in France. He was gassed twice and wounded once.

See Leon's' Military Registration Card from 1917


The above article appeared in The Fairport Herald on 11 Jul 1917, listing all the brave young men from that area of New York who had enlisted in the various branches of the government's armed services. Leon is listed at the very bottom of the page, alongside the others who, like him, enlisted in the National Guard.
Click on the image to see a larger, readable version.

From Monroe County Mail., September 13, 1917:
Time Pretty Well Filled With Work and Recreation.
Syracuse, N. Y., Sept. 5, 1917.
To the Editor of the Monroe County Mail:
Dear Sir—This is just an outline of the daily routine of duty and drill at the Syracuse Mobilization Camp.
First call is sounded at 5:15 a.m. From 10 to 15 minutes Is allowed for the making of beds and toilot. At 5:30 reveille sounds. Then 15 minutes of setting up exercises.
Breakfast at 6 a.m. At 6:40 w.rn., police or cleaning of companyy streets; 6:60, stable call. Drill call at 7:30 a.m. Maohine gun company goes for a hike which lasts until 11 a.m. Infantry company have various drills which run from close order drills to bayonet drills, aiming exercises with rifles, etc,
"Chow" or mes call at Drill call at 12. Drill call again at 1 p.m. Usually an hour is spent at signal drill with the wig-wag, and semaphore flags. Then the afternoon is finished with play. Games of all kinds from leap frog to football arr Indulged In until recall from drill at 4 p.m.
At 6:15 p.m., retreat and supper Immediately after and the soldier is through for the day. Nothing to do till thr morrow:
Lights go out promptly at 9 p.m. and thr camp Is in darkness but the men are allowed to br out until 11.p.m.
Life In tho army Is not all hardships. .Plenty of pleasures mixed with the work. Simply as the Individual makes it for himself. Courtesy ls required at all times between officers and enlisted men.
l guess that this will be sufficient data for this time. I remain,
Leon E..Knibbs,
M. G. Co. 88th Inf.
Syracuse, N. Y;


From The Fairport Herald., October 31, 1917:
Leon Knibbs, who has been stationed with the army at Syracuse, has been transferred to Charlotte, N.C.


From The Fairport herald., November 28, 1917:
The Christmas box committee report that 74 boxes have been sent to our soldiers, 4 to France and the others to different camps and naval vessels. The boxes contain candy, dates, fruit cake, nuts, gum, sweet chocolate and Christmas cards. The money received for this cause by the local Red Cross has made possible this thoughtfulness for our soldier boys. The addresses of the following young men have not been obtained. It is earnestly requested that anyone who may know of an address report it to the committee at 83 West avenue.
Thomas B. Gardner, James Smith, Peter Calegro, Michael 'DiFablo. George Quirk, Charles Duke, Mark Wiley.; Dominic :Nicholuso. Leon Knibbs, Michael F. McGowan, Perry Baker, Wm. Fitzgerald, J. Paul Gilbert, Sam Arme. Jr., Dana Brooks. and the eight who went last week.


The Fairport Herald reported on April 10th, 1918, that Leon's wife Hazel had received a letter from him confirming that he'd arrived safely "somewhere in England". In August that same year, they also reported that Hazel had heard from him to say that he'd been wounded.

Leon Knibbs was wounded on Sunday 14th July 1918 when serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in France. His name appears in the Roll of Honour as published in the Buffalo Evening News on 4 Dec, 1918:
WASHINGTON, Dec 4, - The following casualties are reported by the commanding general of the American Expeditionary Forces.
Wounded Degree Undetermined:
Corporal Leon Knibbs, Fairport


From The Fairport herald., August 07, 1918:
Mrs. Leon Knibbs has received word from her husband that he was wounded in action July 14th in France and is in a base hospital making a rapid recovery, and anxious to get back at the front for another crack at the Huns. He is in the machine gun company of the 38th infantry.


The Monroe County Mail, on Thursday August 8th, 1918, included a copy of the following letter written by Corporal Leon Knibbs to his wife Hazel:
Somewhere in France, July 20, 1918.
My Dear wife,
Well I suppose that you are looking for a letter from me so I thought that I had better write you one.
I am in the hospital, I got wounded but I am getting along very nicely and it won't be long before I will be able to go back on the line again for the sooner that all of us that are in the hospital get back at the d......... Huns, the quicker they will be finished. I got wounded on Sunday, the 14th of the month. You don't want to mourn for I am all right and the time will soon come now when I can come home.
The Germans are about the biggest boobs that I ever saw. They can't fight and it won't take dear old America very long to put a finish to this war.
I suppose that you have read in the papers by now about the big drive that they tried to pull off but they got fooled and they will every time they try it.
Well I guess I will quit for this time. I will write more later. Give my regards and love to all. I remain
Your loving husband
Base Hospital 43. A.P.O. 726, A.E.F

Historical Note:
I believe the "great drive" that Leon referred to would have been in July 1918, when the 38th Infantry of the 3d Infantry Division successfully defended its position on the Paris-Metz railroad, 200 yards from the River Marne, against six German attacks. It was the last great offensive of the German Army and the first fight of the 38th Infantry in World War I. Initially, the Germans succeeded in driving a wedge 4,000 yards deep into the 38th Infantry’s front while the U.S. 30th Infantry on its left and the French 125th Division on its right withdrew under heavy pressure. With the situation desperate, the regiment stood and fought. The two flanks of the 38th Infantry moved toward the river, squeezing the German spearhead between them and exposing it to heavy shelling by the 3d Division artillery. The German Army’s offensive failed. With this brave stand the 38th Infantry earned its nom de guerre Rock of the Marne. General John J. Pershing declared its stand “one of the most brilliant pages in our military annals.”

From The Fairport Herald, Wednesday August 7th, 1918:
Mrs. Leon Knibbs has received word from her husband that he was wounded in action July 14th in France and is in a base hospital making a rapid recovery, and anxious to get back to the front for another crack at the Huns. He is in the machine gun company of the 38th infantry.

The Monroe County Mail, Thursday December 5th, 1918.
The name of Leon Knibbs of Fairport was carried in yesterday's published casualty list, as having been wounded.

From The Fairport Herald, Wednesday October 8th, 1919.
Corporal Leon E. Knibbs who had been overseas since a year ago last April, in the Third division, landed in America the 28th of September and has received his discharge, reaching Fairport the first of the


From The Monroe County Mail, Thursday October 9th, 1919.
Leon Knibbs, who has seen eighteen months' service overseas, has received his discharge and returned home. He was a member of the Third Division. He was twice gassed and wounded once.

I believe Leon, like many others returning from war, struggled to settle down after the end of the war and we see for the first time in 1921, he got into trouble with the law when he was charged with assault of the third degree, preferred by his wife, Hazel.

From The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Saturday August 13th, 1921., Thursday October 9th, 1919.
Leo Knibbs, 31 years old, of No. 84 South Fitsburgh street, will be tried on August 18th on a charge of assault , third degree, preferred by his wife Hazel. Knibbs, an ironworker, has done no work for eighteen weeks, it is claimed. His wife has been employed during this period. On Wednesday Knibbs is alleged to have struck his wife in the mouth, breaking her false teeth. One of the teeth punctured her lip. On Thursday night, it is claimed, when Mrs. Knibbs went to Fitsburgh street to get her clothing, her husband again attacked her, knocking her down and kicking her in the stomach.

From Monroe County mail., July 20, 1922:
Knibbs Leon - Private First Class, entered the service July 3, 1917 aged 27 years. M.G.Co. 38th Infantry; 222nd Co. M.P. Wounded July 22, 1918. Service overseas. Mustered out Ocxtober 6, 1919.


In 1925, got into even more trouble for stealing a car for which he received a prison sentence..

From the Niagara Falls Gazette, Friday March 13th, 1925:
Trailed Through 13 States; Caught
Syracuse, March 13.- Trailed through a dozen states since he drove away from the U-Drive-It Corporation, 325 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, one afternoon last August in a rented automobile, Leon E. Knibbs, 30, was taken into custody last night at the Syracuse post office by J.G. Reville, assistant chief of detectives in Buffalo.
Knibbs had little to say following his arrest, merely telling Reville that someone had stolen the car from him in a
Massachusetts city.
The prisoner, Reville declares, was indicted by the Saratoga grand jury on a charge of larceny in the first degree.
he chase led from Buffalo to Cleveland, thence back to Buffalo, from there the trail led to New York, to Massachusetts, Vermont, Paterson, N.J., Baltimore, Jacksonville, Fla., back through South Carolina and North Carolina to Washington, and finally to Syracuse.
Knibbs arrived Wednesday and Reville, always close on his trail, soon after. Knibbs, police say, had as his companion for some time a young woman whom he met in his travels. They parted in Washington, she going south and Knibbs heading north. It is believed that a letter he expected from his former sweetheart caused his arrest although officials would not divulge where the missive was mailed.

A sequel to the above, as reported by The Buffalo Morning Express in March 1925:
Stole automobile and went on a countrywide joyride.
Leon Knibbs, who recently covered 2,600 miles in stolen automobiles, yesterday pleaded guilty before County Judge Noonan to a charge of stealing a car owned by the U-Drive-It company. He will be sentenced next Friday. Detective Captain Reville said that He tracked Knibbs through ten states before arresting him. Knibbs drove away from Buffalo last August. States he visited were Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland, where he traded the car for a truck and then he went to North and South Carolina and Florida. There he sold the truck and returned to Syracuse by train where he was arrested a week ago Friday.

An article from March 28th 1925 in the same newspaper, reported that Leon was sentenced by County Judge Noonan, to 2-5 years in Auburn State prison, New York.

In 1928, he was again in trouble, for alleged non-support of his 2nd wife Loretta.

From The Auburn Citizen, Monday September 10th, 1928.
Leo Knibbs, 35, of 76 Chapman avenue, arrested Saturday by Patrolman Nick Limner on a warrant charging non-support following a complaint by his wife Loretta Knibbs, was paroled by city judge Edwin Leary on arraignment in Police court this morning.

We can see him under the name of Raymond Knibbs in 1930 living at Buffalo (Districts 1-250), Erie, New York, age 39, married, living as a 'roomer' living at the house of his sister Gertrude, her husband, James Chambers and their two children. He was working as an Iron Worker at a Steel Plant. There was no sign of any wife living with him. It states he immigrated into the US in 1902.
James Chambers Head Mar 38 New York
Gertrude Chambers Wife Mar 38 Canada
Robert Chambers Son 17 New York
Helen Chambers Daughter 15 New York
Raymond Knibbs Roomer 39 Canada

Leon was in trouble again in 1939, this time for stealing some iron pipe work.

From The Bolivar Breeze, Thursday, January 26, 1939:
Buffalo Men Jailed on Oil Lease Theft.
Raymond L. Knibbs, 45, iron worker, and William H. Taylor, 38, both of Buffalo, are in county jail at Belmont serving a ten-day term in default of payment if fines of $10 each, following pleas of guilty to a charge of petit larceny for the theft of iron pipe from the Messer Oil Company lease, the former Shaner Lease, at Kossuth.
The two men were apprehended about 2:30 a.m. January 7 by Edward Stroup of Bolivar, an employee of the Messer Oil Company, as they were stealing pipe from the lease. He wrote down the license number of their light truck and reported the theft to Bolivar Chief of Police, Neil Carrier. Last Thursday both Knibbs and Taylor were identified by Stroup at Almond where they were each being held for trial on %500 bail as suspects in the petit larceny case there.
They were arrested by Chief Carrier, brought back to Bolivar and arraigned before Justice of Peace W. J. Henderson. They said they were stealing the pipe to sell as junk. Knibbs admitted four previous arrests, one for grand larceny. They are slated for a jury trial tomorrow on the Almond larceny charges.


In 1940, we see him living at Ward 8, Buffalo, Buffalo City, Erie, New York:
Leon Knibbs Head Mar 49 Janitor New York
Loretta Wife Mar 38 New York
Robert Knibbs Son 15 New York
Joan Knibbs Daur 7 New York
Donna Knibbs Daur 6 New York
Ronald Knibbs Son 4 New York

Sources for Leon Edward KNIBBS:

  1. Personal Contact with Kim Knibbs, NY,
  2. 1900 US Federal Census, has just the name Leon 
  3. US Social Security Death Index,
  4. 1891 Canadian Census, gave place of birth 
  5. 1910 US Federal Census,
  6. Marriage Record,
  7. The Fairport Herald, from 11 Jul 1917 
  8. 1940 US Federal Census,

Notes for Lorreta BAUER:

Loretta had a sister Emily Bauer who was born in around 1896. She married a man named George Simpson and then later, Frederick Ernst.

I believe it's Loretta and her family we see in 1910, living at Rochester Ward 17, Monroe, New York, United States:
Charles B Bauer Head M 40 Germany
Johanah B Bauer Wife F 38 Germany
Emily B Bauer Daughter F 13 New York
Rosinia B Bauer Daughter F 11 New York
Louise B Bauer Daughter F 10 New York
Loretta B Bauer Daughter F 8 New York
Catherine B Bauer Daughter F 5 New York
Margaret B Bauer Daughter F 2 New York
Marion B Bauer Daughter F 0 New York

And again, at the same address in 1920:
Charles Bauer Head M 50 Germany
Johana Bauer Wife F 48 Germany
Louisa Bauer Daughter F 20 New York
Loretta Bauer Daughter F 18 New York
Catherine Bauer Daughter F 14 New York
Margueret Bauer Daughter F 12 New York
Marian Bauer Daughter F 10 New York

Loretta married Leon in 1921.

From the Rochester Democtrat and Chronicle, 7 December 1935:
OAKES - Entereded into rest Marion T. Bauer, wife of Milton F. Oakes, Thursday afternoon at Sty. Mary's Hospiutal. She leaves her husband, Her parents Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bauer, six sisters, Mrs. Fred Eernest, Mrs, Rose Harvey, Miss Louis Bauer, Mrs. Rober O'Connor, Mrs. Andrew Voeckl of Rochester and Mrs. Leon Knibbs or Buffalo.


From the Buffalo Courier-Express, Saturday, Nov 26, 1960:
KNIBBS - Loretta (nee Bauer), Nov. 24, 1960, of 194 Willett St., wife of Leon; devoted mother of Joan Krysiak, Donna Hiesinger and Ronald Knibbs; and the late Pfc. Robert Knibbs; mother-in-law of Richard Krysiak, Robert Huesinger and Mary Ann Knibbs; sister of Catherin O'connell, Margaret Voelkl and Rose Falleon, all of Rocherster, N.Y., also survived by nine grandchildren. Funeral services Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. from the Chapel of Okoniewski Brothers, 924 Sycamore St., and at St. Bernard's Church at 10:00. Internment in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Friends invited. Deceased was a member of Gold Star Mothers.

Sources for Lorreta BAUER:

  1. Personal Contact with Kim Knibbs, NY,

Notes for Robert Lee KNIBBS:

We don't know for sure if it was this Robert, but there was a Robert Knibbs who can be seen in 1930 living at the Protestant Home for Unprotected Children, Buffalo, Erie, New York, listed as Robert John Knibbs, aged 4 years at his last birthday, and quite clearly as an inmate of the Institution. The home was located at 605 Niagara St. in Buffalo and operated as a home from 1917. It seems that it was a home for orphaned, abandoned or neglected children.

We don't know for sure if Robert L Knibbs and Robert John Knibbs (as listed at the census) are the same person, but I suspect they are.

Robert L Knibbs's father, Leon Knibbs, was also living at Buffalo at this time as a 'roomer' at the house of James and Gertrude Chambers and their two children. We know that between 1925 and 1930, Leon and his second wife Lorreta had quite a few problems in their lives which may well have led to Robert L Knibbs (their only child at the time) being placed into care.

From the NARA Archival Database:

Name:Robert L Knibbs
Birth Year:1924
Race:White, citizen
Nativity State or Country:New York
State:New York
County or City:Erie
Enlistment Date:29 Jun 1942
Enlistment State:New York
Enlistment City:Buffalo
Branch:Air Corps
Branch Code:Air Corps
Grade Code:Private
Term of Enlistment:Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component:Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of
Source:Civil Life
Education:Grammar school
Marital Status:Single, without dependents

Robert served in the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion who's motto is "ALL THE WAY" and was the most decorated paratroop unit of WWII. He was killed in North Africa during WWII and is buried at the North African American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia, Plot I Row 19, Grave 2.

The North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial is the resting place of 2841 Americans killed in the fight against Axis.
By mid-1942 it had become apparent that there would be no cross-channel attack by the Allies of the European mainland. At Churchill’s urging, the United States and British troops proceeded with an alternative assault - that of North Africa and General Erwin Rommel’s Africa Corps. Numbering about 100,000, the German and Italian forces controlled the northern tier of the African continent, from Tunisia to Egypt.
Once the allied offensive began, a 150,000-strong German reinforcement, coming across the Mediterranean from Sicily, stopped the Allied thrust in its tracks, most notably, for the Americans, at Kasserine Pass in west-central Tunisia - the first major engagement of U.S. troops against Axis forces.
On the outskirts of a picturesque whitewashed village set high on a cliff overlooking the sea a few miles north of Tunis lies an American cemetery - its eucalyptus laden grounds serving as the resting place of 2,841 American military dead - 39 percent of the burials originally made in North Africa and Iran. The 27-acre graveyard also contains a limestone wall with the names of 3,724 missing.

Robert's name is recorded for posterity at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial at Tunis, Tunisia.

Our gratitude also goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in his memory.

Robert is also remembered on the 509th Parachute Infantry Brigade Roll of Honor as well as the Overseas American Cemeteries, the National Archives, the WWII Memorial web site, and the The U.S. Airborne World War II web site.

Sources for Robert Lee KNIBBS:

  1. Personal Contact with Kim Knibbs, NY,
  2. NARA Archival Database, NARA Archival Database gave Nativity as New York 
  3. National WWII Memorial. Washington (www),

Notes for Unknown Twin KNIBBS:

Notes for Unknown Twin KNIBBS:

Notes for Unknown KNIBBS: